Retired teache puts world’s ONLY hole punch collection up for sale

Retired teacher, 82, puts world’s ONLY hole punch collection up for sale after his wife threatened to throw them in the bin

  • Grandfather Peter Duffell started collecting the hole punches back in the 1970s 
  • He was so excited to find a German hole punch online he accidentally paid £800 
  • Got stopped at an airport as security thought he was hiding drugs in the punches
  • Wife snapped and told him to get rid as he started lining them up in the lounge 

A man who holds what is believed to be the world’s only collection of hole punches has put his entire collection on sale – after his wife threatened to throw them in the bin.

Retired teacher Peter Duffell, 82, from Lichfield, Staffordshire, has spent 50 years collecting 204 hole punches – dating back as far as the 1800s.

But after amassing a collection of more than 200 of the stationery items, wife Gill has finally put her foot down and insisted that the hole punches go.

Mr Duffell (pictured with his vast array of hole punches) was disappointed to find that his entire collection will only fetch about £200 

Long-suffering wife Gill (pictured) says that she’s sick of the hole punches clogging up their home in Staffordshire 

Sadly for Peter, auctioneers only expect his lifetime collection to fetch around £200 when it goes under the hammer next month.

The married father-of-three and grandfather-of-six started collecting the items in the 1970s, and loves everything about them, from their attractive shapes to their nifty cuts, and once even paid over £800 for a special punch he found online.

Mr Duffell said: ‘I had hoped they may sell for a little more but as I seem to be the only person in the world who collects them it might be quite hard to find a buyer.

‘Under no circumstances are they allowed to come back to my house though, so I suppose at the least they’ll make a scrap metal dealer somewhere very happy.

Mr Duffell (pictured) has more than 200 of the stationary items from different eras and cultures 

‘I believe that my collection covers the whole history of punches, from the Victorian era to the 1960s and are probably even museum quality. I once found a German punch online and mistakenly paid over £800 for it, but luckily managed get a refund and pay an appropriate £18 instead.’

The pensioner said that he even got stopped in a German airport while carrying a portion of his collection as security staff suspected he was using them to smuggle drugs.    

His long-suffering wife, Gill, added: ‘He used to arrange them in the lounge, it got to the stage where I said they just had to go – I don’t mind the odd one or two but not all 200.

‘It became an obsession, he would look for them everywhere, out in town, on holiday and eventually even online, I just kept thinking please stop.

The retired teacher’s collection includes this, an art deco style hole punch. It will soon be up for auction with more than 200 others 

‘People used to buy him new ones for his birthday, I even started using them because sometimes he wouldn’t even take them out of the box, what’s the point in having them if you’re not going to use them. I’m quite relieved that they’re off, but I do appreciate that he liked them.’

Peter’s collection ranges from the quaint to the quasi-industrial, with punches coming from all over the world. There are examples from Japan, the USA, Czechoslovakia and Germany.

He enjoys collecting all hole punches, no matter the size, shape, or decoration – but prefers to collect older punches because he says they have more history in them, which is what interests him.

Peter said: ‘Modern punches use thin steel plate and plastic which have a colourful, aesthetic appeal to the buyer, which older machines did not have.

The pensioner (pictured, left, holding a device for punching holes in leather) is getting shot of his collection due complaints from his wife 

‘There’s more to find out with the older punches which where most of the intrigue is for me.

‘But I do like to compare the modern with the older punches because you can see the improvements made through the years.’

After 40 years of amassing his haul, Peter has now decided to put the collection up for sale and they will be auctioned at Richard Winterton Auctioneers.

He added: ‘I should be very grateful if the punches sell for the estimate. I could start another collection with the money – maybe fountain pens.’

Valuer Sarah Leedham said: ‘It is an absolutely fascinating collection, the likes of which we’ve never before seen, this could well be the only hole punch collection in the world.’

The collection will be auctioned in 10 lots at Richard Winterton Auctioneers at The Lichfield Auction Centre, Wood End Lane, Fradley Park, on Wednesday, September 4.


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